We've all heard the old adage of addition by subtraction. Most women keep a mental list of the qualities they seek in their partner. Some lists are short and to the point. Many are long -- way too long -- and they can get in the way of finding The One. Being mindful of a few red flags can save time and streamline your search process. If the man you are seeing has issues with any of these four behavioral traits, it's a good bet that you are in for a challenge and he may not be worthy of your unconditional love. Take it from a guy who learned the hard way and ask yourself if any of these traits is too familiar.
1. He's Cheap.
Yes, the economy's tough and the gap between rich and poor keeps growing, but you want your guy to know the difference between thrifty and stingy. More than 75% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Sad, but true. That means that your guy needs to know how to manage and grow his pile of cash. He also needs to prioritize what he spends his money on. If the first time he asks you out he assumes you're splitting the check, that's a bad sign. If he takes you to a concert or sporting event and you're craning your neck in the nosebleed section -- unless it's the Super Bowl or a Rolling Stones concert -- it's a bad sign. If he drinks cheap wine, buys cheap clothes and tips ten percent, it's a bad sign.
2. He's Jealous.
Jealousy is toxic; jealousy has no benefits. Jealousy always results in hurt and resentment. It's an emotion driven by fear, anger and insecurity. Do you want to sign up for that? Of course not. You don't want your guy taking you for granted either, but if he gets jealous about your crush on Ryan Gosling or when you share a casual story that includes your ex, that's a bad sign. I know a woman whose guy became upset because the voice on her GPS was male. Seriously. That's a very bad sign.
3. He's Controlling.
See above. Controlling behavior also stems from fear, anger and insecurity. If he doesn't allow you to have your own life, that's a bad sign. If he doesn't approve of a night out with your besties, it's a bad sign. If you can't have a drink with your colleagues, that's a bad sign. Relationships are about joy and sharing, not being held captive. Don't let any guy take away your independence. Both partners need their own lives.
4. He's Got Vices.
I don't mean drinking socially or an addiction to TV. But if he is doing drugs regularly and needs to in order to function or he gambles compulsively or he is a nasty drunk, you're in for a bumpy ride. These are diseases, so your partner needs help. How far you choose to go to help him with his recovery is up to you. Ultimately, he has to make the key decisions about how he chooses to live his life. If he favors drinks, drugs or gambling over you -- at any time -- it's a very bad sign.
I hope this helps. Everyone has issues, so finding the perfect partner is not easy. Your list is your list. Make it work for you. If you flip the script and factor in what you don't want in a relationship, it might make it easier to find a connection that brings you the love you deserve.
Does your guy own negative traits that prevent him from being The One?
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Robert Manni is President of BrandEnable LLC, a marketing consultancy in New York City, and author of the novel THE GUYS' GUY'S GUIDE TO LOVE, a fast-paced tale of flawed men and savvy women competing for love, sex, power, and money in the city where they play for keeps, described as Sex and the City meets Mad Men. He is a world traveler, Reiki Master and teacher, certified advanced clinical Master Hypnotist, graduate of the Jose Silva Method/Life System, and NYC Marathoner.